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Bentley Continental GT review – performance and 0-60 time

All Continental GT variants are immensely powerful, yet don’t feel overstressed

Evo rating
Price
from £159,100
  • Astonishing ability for such a big car; raw performance; refinement; cabin quality
  • W12 GT not as accomplished as the V8 to drive; chassis feels like it could take more power and focus

The Continental GT’s performance is impressive (borderline ridiculous) across the board, with V8 models taking 4.0sec to reach 62mph, and the W12 taking just 3.6sec. Convertible models add 0.1sec to the total due to their additional higher weight figures. Top speeds are not electronically governed, so the V8 reaches 198mph and the W12 an astounding 208mph.

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And blimey does the W12 feel blisteringly quick in a straight line. The way it summons its energy with such effortless efficiency and simply propels you towards the horizon is as if you’ve been released from a giant bungee cord at the very extreme of its tension. It reminds us of the first time we drove a Bugatti Veyron.

The sense of acceleration is total, yet the sense of control – as if everything is going to be just fine, despite the fact that you appear to be travelling at Mach 2 for much of the time – is also all-encompassing. Combined with a new dual-clutch gearbox that picks off ratios as quickly and calmly as a pickpocket plundering its victims all the way along Oxford Street makes the GT a deeply impressive car to drive fast, or even just to be driven in.

The only thing the W12 lacks is a level of character that’s difficult to instil in something with a W-cylinder layout. Aston Martin’s V12 is more vocal, although not as much as it once was, but still means that aside from its unrelenting capability to build speed, there’s precious few reasons to splurge on the twelve.

The V8 does lack the W12’s ultimate punch, but it is both noticeably more responsive and charismatic. Things start well with a low-speed burble that perfectly suits the GT’s sinister demeanour, and even if the ultimate turn of speed is more measured there’s still plenty for everyday driving. With a relatively low state of tune, the V8 is also just as effortless as the W12 when just pottering around at low to moderate speeds. Start exercising the V8 and there’s still plenty of performance, though, with that background grumble growing into a more clandestine bark that almost feels forbidden in something with so much embroidery. 

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